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THE PITTS 8UMH CPU Hi EH 23 GEORGE E. PITTS My 14. it 'Sergeant Rutledge' Highlights Negro Heroics The new Warner. Brothers' lilm, "Sergeant Rut. Wge," forecasts something worthy of note In Hollywood attitudes.
It is not a second rate film, but one made by John Ford, who has won six Academy Awards Oscars for his directing. The movie was made on location in Mountain Valley, wme of the most beautiful country in America, and is in Technicolor. Woody Strode has the title role, for this is the story of Negro sergeant In the 9th Cavalry, that celebrated group of horsemen who captured the Apache chief, Oeroni mo, and later saved the life of Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill. The lead roles are played by Jeffrey Hunter and Constance Towers, but there Is hardly two minutes In the picture when attention Is mi. (Courier Press Servk e) MEMPHIS, Tenn.
When "that evening sun goes down" it's going to set on W. C. Handy, iiml when it rises again the next morning it is going to rise and Klitne on W. C. Handy, every day in the year, right in Handy Park on the beloved Beale St.
he made so famous through' his eternal blues. Thousands of Memphians and out of owners gathered in Handy Park last Sunday at the unveil 'tr 'J 1 Mr. Pitts not focused on Strode in his title part. Giving other competent Negro actors opportunities not only for 'employment, but for histrionic expression. the film features Juano in a pivotal supporting part, and Naatnan Brown and athlete Rafer Johnson in the cast.
Most significant, however, is the handling of the 'story which deals with murder and rape charges lodged against a previously highly regarded Negro trooper. Of course, there is hysteria In the Arizona Territory where law and order were slow daring the period in which the movie is mtfde. Wives of the white officers turn out like the trooper's soldier's trial Woody Strode Is to be a lynching holiday. And ordinarily you would think a picture made, about this period, right after the CivU War, and In Bronze Eight Feet Tall dealing with a Negro trooper charged with murder and rape Involving' whites would be seething with racial prejudice. And, of course, it Is! And yet the delicate and sensitive way John Ford directs, and the surprise twist of the story, are superb.
"Sergeant Rutledge" can do a very great deal for the cause of democracy and definitely will combat some of the negative aspects of race relations in America which some of the foreign nations have exploited and ovetvm phasized. The story is exciting, entertaining, suspenseful and, most important of all, it is believable and shows ing of the eight foot bronze sta tue of the Father of the Blues Avhich rests on a three foot marble granite base facing the rising sun, with trumpet in hand. Master of ceremonies for the unveiling was Lieut. George W. Lee.
orator, businessman, political and fraternal leader, author and friend of the late W. C. Handy. DEDICATING the statue for Memphis' posterity was U. S.
Senator Estes Kefauver If I HANDY ON IEALE STREET The late and famed "Father of the Blues," W. C. Handy, looks down on his beloved Beale Street in Memphis, in his 8 foot tall bronze likeness which was unveiled on May Day. For days after the unveiling worshippers came to Handy Park to see the statue and take pictures of it, both white and colored. The statue is a tribute to the efforts of Lieut.
George W. Lee and Richard Algren, a white Memphis editor. Anderson photo. atfaMa. lrj Billy Williams what most adult thinking on the part 4HanoHernanoe of the makers of the movie as regards the movie industry's obligation to do what it can to promote racial harmony in the V.
S. A. "Sergeant Rutledge." probably is the best film ever made by Hollywood dealing with a Negro personality in the key role and dealing with what are the ugliest aspects of crime across the color line. Another important thing Is that the film puts before the public some of the early military activity of Negro troops who were tto heroic that the 9th and 10th Cavalry won more Congressional Medals of Hon or than any U. S.
military unit in history up to that time. White people, denied Negro history In their schools, are not generally aware of this fact. The movie will let a lot of people know what Negroes did for this country in the days when Indians hunted scalps. PRETTY fViiolhy Pl.iipot. who also is Mrs.
Billy Williams, left the troupe In New Oi lcans long enough Ulknnoafly Hnoimue tt Slav who flew down for the occasion The actual unveiling was done by Mrs. Louise Handy, widow of the great composer, who died March 12, Around the marble base ol the statue is engraved the history of Mi. Handy, done by Lieutenant Ijh. At the unveiling. Rudolph Wil liams of the B.
T. Washington High School band, tlrcssed in brown bowler and Handy band attire as of old. played "The Memphis Blues," as mikes and television audio picked up the to jump to her home in Chicago and spend Mother's Day witfi her young daughter. The talented youngster also has a piano concert scheduled this month. The Williams package, which has drawn raves throughout the country, opens at New York's Latin Quarter on May 12 for three weeks.
Coral Records, inc identally, Is making a big mistake not keeping a hot property like Billy steadily on wax like steady Sexy actress May i pronounced MY) Britt and Sammy Davis Jr. reportedly still an item. "EVERY CURVE is in its place and there isn't too much of me where It shouldn't be, explained blues queen, Dinah Washington. Appearing at Blrdland for the past two weeks, Dinah has joined the battle of the girdles over a recent statement by the president of the Playtex Corporation. "I'm down to 120 pounds and my dress size Is a comfortable 10.
Look at me, I'm not wearing a girdle at all and I feel better than 1 have in over two years," Dinah quipped sound. W. C. Handy was hack home, at the place he loved Betue St. HELPING pay homage to the great man were "greats" of the stage, radio and entertainment i world, such as Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, Juanita Hall, the great Mahalia Jackson (who came, although sick), Damita Jo, Lonnie Sattin and others.
Mr. Handy's i son. W. C. his brother Charles E.
Handy, and his sister, Mrs. Mattie Handy Robinson, were also on hand. So was Paul Cunningham, past president of ASCAP. and Dick and Charlie Uoss, two members of Mr. Handy's original band.
I Matthew Thornton, blind "May I or of Beale now 84, was also 1 Dinah Washington Pittsburghers Elizabeth Davis and Robert Head collaborated on the clever tune, "Hula I ula," recorded on the Clock Label and sung by Chuck Jackson. BEER SALESMAN Henry Pendleton, who travels throughout the Eastern states, has such a yen for Pittsburgh hospitality that he brought his personable wife. Harriett, from their home in Media. and spent part of their vacation in the Steel City Kiazy Kiis Kolombo closed a fifth record breaking week at Pittsburgh's Hurricane Isn't Ella's rendition of "Mack, the Knife" the craziest Brook Benton will be given Mercury's first Decathlon Award for his seven hit singles and three hit LP's. in ill present to see through feelings the likeness of his old friend as it took its place at the head of the park which bears his name.
The statue cost SH.00 and was cast in Italy by a top Italian sculptor. Yes sir. W. is back home to stay on Beale St. Firry yiars or socstss Pope to Receive Nat King Coles NEW YORK (ANP) Singer Nat (King) Cole, currently on an Euro peon lour, and his wife, Maria, are scheduled to be received by Ppe John XXIII shortly, it was reported here.
Cole is one of (he most popu lar American performers lo travel abroad. 1 f4474P I'll ri JOLLY TIME The fabulous Jolly Jax, three before a packed audience at Cleveland's Mu brothers named Carroll, Herman and Jerome sic Bar. The' Jax, whose varied repertoire Hill are shown having a jolly time with pianist keeps them booked in advance, are currently Dorothy Doiegan when they shared tne bill at the Pine Grill in Buffalp, N. Y..
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